In an election poll released on Thursday, January 31, 2019, the Zehut party headed by former MK Moshe Feiglin passed the minimum threshold to enter the 21st Knesset.
The poll was conducted after Chosen Yisrael party chairman Benny Gantz gave his address to the nation, announcing his entry to the election race. 510 respondents were polled representing a cross-section of eligible Israeli voters, with the margin of error being 4.3%.
An important note regarding the survey: Since a large number of parties are within the range of the threshold percentage, that is, within the margin of sampling error, it is impossible to ignore the parties that, according to the survey, do not pass. Therefore, all the parties competing in the elections were counted in order to present a more accurate picture.
The many splits on the left and on the right, some of which may be merged until the date of submission of the lists of candidates to the Central Elections Committee, have led to many parties swinging at the edge of the threshold: Gesher bridge headed by Orli Levi-Abekasis receives 4 Knesset seats, and Shas and Meretz, Bayit Yehudi and the Ichud Leumi receive together 3, as well as Otzma Yehudit headed by Michael Ben-Ari, Ta’al headed by Ahmad Tibi and Yisrael Beitenu headed by Avigdor Lieberman.
Zehut, headed by Moshe Feiglin, who held the first open primaries in Israel this week, is also on the verge of a threshold, but for the first time, with 4 seats. Parties that are far from the threshold are Tzipi Livni and Eli Yishai, each of whom receives a single mandate.
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said that the party’s leader was threatening to thwart Benny Gantz’s candidacy, hinting that talks were under way between the parties, which could eventually lead to running on a joint list. The scenario, according to which the two will unite.
The poll probed the scenarios whereby the two would unite and join former chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi. The result; Chosen Yisrael and Yesh Atid receive 32 seats and the Likud is pushed into second place with two seats. The Labor party will pay the bill, only receiving three seats and most supporters shift to the new Chosen Yisrael party.
But not only Labor will be shaken. It is believed that a union on the left, which could lead to unification on the right, would lead to a battle between Gantz and Netanyahu and a large rise of both parties at the expense of other parties. According to the current survey, in the event of a merger between Lapid and Gantz versus Netanyahu; Labor, Gesher, The Movement, Bayit Yehudi/Ichud Leumi, Otzma Yisrael, Zehut, Yisrael Beitenu, Shas, Yachad and Ta’al would not enter Knesset and hundreds of thousands votes will be thrown into the trash.
Immediately after Ganz’s speech, the Likud and the new right tried to place Ganz on the left. On the other hand, they insisted that Gantz heads a centrist party. The poll shows that one-quarter of the respondents (25%) still do not know how to define it. If we deduct them from the results, it turns out that 52% define Gantz in the center, 19% see him as a rightist, and 29% as a leftist. On the issue of the suitability for prime minister Netanyahu leads safely with 38%, while Gantz gets 22%.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)